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Iowa Speedway IndyCar race returns to nighttime in 2019

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The Verizon IndyCar Series’ yearly visit to the Iowa Speedway will once again be a night race in the 2019 season.

INDYCAR revealed earlier on Monday that next year’s event at the 7/8-mile oval will be held on Saturday night July 20, marking IndyCar’s first night race at Iowa since 2015.

“The staff at Iowa Speedway and our partnership with NBC Sports have helped us deliver exciting night racing for the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2019. Our cars look great under the lights, and the competition should be even more fierce given what should be cooler conditions,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, which oversees INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Iowa Speedway President David Hyatt added, “The return of a night race for INDYCAR at Iowa Speedway is exciting news for our race fans, sponsors, and the entire region. INDYCAR races here are not only thrilling sports entertainment, but also a boon for the local economy. Our track provides some of the best racing you’ll see anywhere, which will be good for attendance. This is one of our crown jewels and a can’t-miss weekend.

“Announcing our (2019) INDYCAR weekend in July allows our fans, local businesses and the City of Newton to plan ahead for what will be an exciting season of racing at Iowa Speedway.”

The Verizon IndyCar Series has held races at Iowa Speedway since 2007, with four being held at night. Marco Andretti won the first night race at Iowa in 2011, while Ryan Hunter-Reay has won the other three (2012, 2014, and 2015).

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Will Power, Roger Penske collect Indy 500 trophies

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DETROIT (AP) Last year, Will Power finally broke through and won the Indianapolis 500, so he can cross that accomplishment off the list.

Now 37, Power is reaching an age when it’s fair to wonder how much longer he’ll keep at it.

“I’m really enjoying my racing. I’ve never been so motivated. I’m fitter than I’ve ever been, mentally on the game,” Power said. “I think once you get to this part of your career, you realize that you’re not going to be doing this forever. So you’ve got to enjoy it and you’ve got to go for it when you’ve got it, because, you know, probably only another five years at maximum, and you’re retired.”

Whenever Power’s career does wind down, his 2018 Indy 500 win will remain a moment to remember. He was in Detroit on Wednesday night with team owner Roger Penske for a ceremony in which they received their “Baby Borg” trophies for winning last year’s race. The Baby Borgs are replicas of the Borg-Warner Trophy that honors the Indy 500 winner.

Power finished second at Indy in 2015, and his victory last year made him the race’s first Australian winner. It was Penske’s 17th Indy 500 win as an owner, part of a banner year for him. Penske also won a NASCAR Cup title with driver Joey Logano.

“When you think about 2018, we had 32 race wins, 35 poles. I think we led almost 5,400 laps, with all the series,” Penske said.

On Wednesday, Penske collected another significant trophy, and he’ll be celebrated again in a couple weeks. He’s being inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Feb. 1.

“It’s amazing that a guy from the north can get into the Hall of Fame in the south,” Penske joked. “No, it’s special. … NASCAR has helped us build our brand over the years, certainly, with the reputation it has, and the notoriety we get, being a NASCAR team owner.”

Penske’s most recent Indy 500 title came courtesy of Power, who long preferred road courses to ovals but certainly looked comfortable at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year.

“The 500 was one record that he didn’t have, and I think you saw the excitement he and his wife, and the whole team, when he was able to win the race,” Penske said. “He’s probably the best qualifier we’ve ever had, as a road racer, and no question his expertise. He didn’t like ovals to start with, but I think today, he loves racing on ovals.”

Power seems content with all aspects of his racing life at the moment. The aftermath of an Indy 500 victory can be a whirlwind, and it would be understandable for a driver to be weary of it eight months later, but for Power, it’s a new experience.

“I’ve been looking forward to this event for a few months now, to actually get the Baby Borg. You have the face on it – I didn’t realize that, you actually get your own face on it,” Power said. “It makes you realize the significance of the event, when you think about all the things that come with winning the 500.”

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Follow Noah Trister at http://www.Twitter.com/noahtrister